Saturday, 26 February 2011

Stan Honey and Anna Tunnicliffe Honored at US SAILING’s Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Ceremony

Stan Honey and Anna Tunnicliffe with their trophies. Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.

by Jan Harley and Jake Fish

Humble beginnings have evolved into fruitful sailing careers for Stan Honey (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), US SAILING’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year, who were feted today during a luncheon held at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan. The award recipients, formally announced in January after being chosen for their outstanding on-water sailing accomplishments in 2010, were joined by family, friends, sailing dignitaries and members of the press in the Club’s renowned Model Room and treated to a multi-media retrospective on their respective paths to sailing celebrity.

Past award winners JJ Fetter (1986, ‘ 91, ’97, ’00) and Bora Gulari (2009) introduced Tunnicliffe and Honey, while Gary Jobson, president of US SAILING and long-time emcee for the event, warmed up the crowd by showing highlight videos of the two, which led, in turn, to emotional acceptance speeches. Tunnicliffe and Honey received specially engraved stainless steel and platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Masters, symbolic of their achievements in excellence, from Rolex Watch U.S.A.’s Vice President, Director of Communications Peter Nicholson. Also in the audience were Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year Liz Baylis (2002), Sally Lindsay Honey (1973, ’74) and Dawn Riley (1999).

“There were so many great nominees on the list this year, that to be picked is a great honor,” said Tunnicliffe, who is the first woman in the award’s history to earn it three years in a row*. “We had some great regattas this year, and we tried to come out of each one having learned at least one thing, so we could keep the fun factor involved and continue to pursue the dream of bringing home Olympic Gold in 2012.”

During 2010, Tunnicliffe, who won the 2008 Laser Olympic Gold Medal and is a member of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, won both the 2010 Snipe Women’s Worlds and Laser Radial Women’s North Americans and raced in the Elliott 6 Metre (with crew Molly Vandemoer of Redwood City, Calif. and Debbie Capozzi of Bayport, N.Y.) to win US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR; place second at French Sailing Week in Hyères, France; and take third at Skandia Sail For Gold in Weymouth, England, site of the 2012 Olympic Regatta. She won the XII International Women’s Match Race Criterium in Calpe, Spain, sailed in Tom 28s, and was second at the Toyota International Match Race in Detroit, Michigan, in Ultimate 20s. She picked up a bronze medal in the match racing event at Kiel Week in Germany and also placed third in the BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup in Annapolis, Md., sailing in J/22s.

“I only sailed a few regattas without Molly and Debbie, so I’d like to say that they are not only amazing sailors but also great people, and I’m honored to have them as my friends,” said Tunnicliffe.

The 28-year-old Tunnicliffe, a native of England, grew up in Perrysburg, Ohio, sailing from the North Cape Yacht Club in Michigan. Her college sailing career at Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.), where she earned ICSA All-American honors three times (2003, ’04, ’05), was highlighted with being named the 2005 Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year. She is married to Brad Funk, who also is campaigning for the 2012 Olympic Games in the Laser class.

The 55-year-old Honey was cited for his victory in the Jules Verne Trophy as navigator on an otherwise all-French crew aboard Groupama 3. The trimaran set a race record of 48 days, seven hours and 45 minutes and accounted for history’s fastest non-stop circumnavigation under sail, eclipsing the former record by more than 56 hours. Honey is the second American in the history of the award to receive the honor for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe. (Cam Lewis was the first, in 1993, after winning the Jules Verne prize aboard Commodore Explorer, also with a record time.)

“It’s a humbling experience to be included on this Rolex Yachtsman of the Year list of legends,” said Honey, who in 2005/06 also was the winning navigator aboard ABN Amro One in the Volvo Ocean Race, “and a tribute to all transoceanic sailors and navigators in our sport. I also think it is a unique characteristic of sailing that we can pursue it throughout our lives and be honored, at age 55, with an award like this.”

After graduating from Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) with a degree in Engineering and Applied Science and from Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.) with a Masters in Science Electrical Engineering, Honey, in 1998, co-founded Sportvision Inc. which evolved into the leading developer of live-tracking enhancements for sports TV broadcasts. Honey led the development of the yellow first-down line for televised football; the NASCAR racecar tracking and highlighting system; and the baseball K-Zone system, which highlights the pitch location and strike zone in televised baseball. He holds eight patents in navigational system design, 21 patents for TV special effects, is a member of the board of directors of KVH (a manufacturer of satellite communications and navigation sensors), and currently works for the America's Cup Event Authority on TV technology for the America's Cup. Honey is married to Sally Lindsay Honey, a two-time Yachtswoman of the Year (1972, ’73).

Established in 1961 by US SAILING and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the annual presentation of US SAILING's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards are considered the sport's ultimate recognition of an individual’s outstanding on-the-water achievements for the calendar year. Over its history the coveted award has been presented to 39 men and 32 women.

About Rolex Watch U.S.A.

Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America's Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, offshore, one-design and women's events.


The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit

*Jane Pegel (1964, ’71, ’72) and Jan O’Malley (1969, ’70, ’77) are in the record book as three-time winners of the Yachtswoman of the Year distinction. Only two women have won the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year title more: JJ Fetter (1986, ‘ 91, ’97, ’00) and Betsy Alison (1981, ’82, ’84, ’93 and ‘98), whose five honors have eclipsed even Ted Turner’s four title wins, the most for any American man.